James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 50 years and has set the bar for litigating some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the country. He is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. and is one of the most experienced attorneys for plaintiff’s medical malpractice and personal injury litigation with a legacy of record-setting results.
His first novel, Acts of Omission, is loosely based on a real case James Bostwick tried when he went up against the most famous and powerful attorney in the country to fight for justice for a devastatingly injured teenager.
Here he answers some questions about being a lawyer, writing a novel, and finding that work/life balance:
What do you like best about being a lawyer?
There is so much – probably the opportunity to make a real difference in the life of someone with a devastating injury to themselves or a loved one. We can’t fix injured people, unfortunately, but we can make life a bit easier, get them the help they need and provide some economic security for their future. Also, of course, the challenge of preparing and trying a case against really talented adversaries that you really want to beat but can still respect highly!
Are there similarities between presenting a case and writing a novel?
Oh, yes. Perhaps the greatest similarity is the fact both are an artistic presentation of the facts – done in a way that is interesting, compelling, and tells an important story. Both start with a blank “canvas” and you as the author/trial lawyer are responsible for creating a cohesive, understandable and persuasive vision of what needs to be conveyed to the viewer/jury/reader.
How do you find work/life balance?
You have to set your priorities and then MAKE yourself adhere to them. Family, health, exercise, friendships, and fun pursuits must not take a back seat to your work even if you love it. It is awfully easy to rationalize a few extra hours, time and time again – and then, before you know it, you have lost critical moments and some important events are history. Things/important elements of your life that you can never regain are gone forever.
What are your top 5 favorite authors/novels?
Seabiscuit and Unbroken by Hillenbrand; Educated by Westover; The Lewis Trilogy about the Hebrides by Peter May; Go Tell It on the Mountain, Baldwin; Deerslayer, Cooper; The Sun Also Rises etc, etc geez – where to stop?!
To read more about the nationally recognized trial lawyer and author James Bostwick click here.